GenSpace Welcomes the Wallis Annenberg Leadership Initiative Fellows

September 28, 2021
GenSpace is delighted to welcome in the new Wallis Annenberg Leadership Initiative Junior Fellows, Jason Kolodziej and Matthew Phan.

The Leadership Initiative Fellowship is a year-long partnership with students from local universities, intended to assist in reevaluating how society views aging by challenging negative stereotypes and combating ageism through convenings, partnerships, and events that focus on a new way of looking and talking about aging.

Jason Kolodziej is a graduate student at the University of Southern California, on track to complete a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree in December 2021 with a concentration in Community Health Promotion. He is excited to be part of the Wallis Annenberg GenSpace Leadership Initiative because it gives him a chance to participate in making a national-scale social vision a reality and to gain visibility on how the elements in the realm of aging can be connected and configured for action and change.

His goal for the fellowship is to contribute some of the skills and processes that he has learned from USC and other developmental experiences to help progress the Leadership Initiative procedures and events.

Something unexpected: “In the Army I was qualified to parachute jump from aircraft. The time between my fifth jump at the schoolhouse and my sixth jump with my final unit was exactly 14 years to the day.”

Matthew Phan is also a graduate student at the University of Southern California, working towards a Master’s of Science in Gerontology. He is incredibly excited for the opportunity to apply what he has learned in the field of aging thus far to this experience, and to further develop the skills he needs to become a geriatrician one day. His primary fellowship goal is to help in any way that he can to advance the vision of GenSpace and work to create a more social and equitable future for older adults.

Something unexpected: “I love cooking but I’ve never once opened a cookbook – I just throw things together and pray that it works!”

The Junior Fellows report to the GenSpace Director, Jennifer Wong, PhD and have already started to provide support and coordination for the GenSpace Leadership Initiative by focusing on partnerships with community-based organizations, governmental partners, and private industry. We look forward to their continued impact.

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